New York London Paris Munich

29
Mar 02

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL

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DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL – “Screaming Infidelities”

A couple of years ago, this song would have found its niche on a Post Marked Stamps record. Put amidst the, um, inspired yelping and yawping of his peers, this quite coffee-shop-talk emerges from the pit sans boot massage. Stacked up against the TRL heavy-hitters, though, all that sensitivity goes straight into the closet with the rest of the poems and the art projects. This is a straight-up booty call for the backpack set – yeah, sure, seeing your lover leave you 50 ways is tough, but it’s the lovin’, not the person, that you’re going to miss. It’s refreshing to hear an emo song cut through the whinging and whispering and talk about what truly matters – “I wish that I was anywhere…with anyone…making out…”

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Marvin Gaye is dead

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Marvin Gaye is dead and I don’t feel well myself — strictly speaking, there’s much in this article I can’t fault and so I won’t. Admittedly, Gaye’s enshrinement in The Pantheon is almost as omnipresent as Dylan’s, and therefore almost as stultifying. But whereas I can’t stand Mr. Zimmerman, I happily own a slew of Gaye’s material, though as with much else it’s an enjoyment that doesn’t need regular stoking, while much of said material doesn’t really provoke love. For Moses it does, and I’m quite taken by his descriptions of a youth confronted with horrors tangible through a TV screen and how for him Gaye captured that deep-seated unease of a kind I didn’t have to deal with at a young age, a situation I desperately try not to take for granted. When Moses speaks of wandering his house blinded by grief after Gaye’s death, I recognize my own misery at other deaths, like Charles Schulz’s, but again Moses deals with much more, with a terrible, awful pain resulting from a terrible, awful way to die. This is the voice of the passionate fan, the one who is so taken by an artist as to regard him as a friend, sibling, even a lover, and why not?

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28
Mar 02

Billy Wilder

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Billy Wilder died today. Some people say that he and Kubrick had plans to make an X-rated Hollywood porn movie with Julie Andrews lined up to play the lead. Whether it’s true or not, it’s the kind of myth he inspired just by being his own self. Billy Wilder was a deliciously nasty old man, and maybe the strongest writing talent Hollywood ever got lucky enough to call its own. I plan on watching Sabrina again (yes, the ORIGINAL, silly!) but maybe not Double Indemnity—it’s too tight a noose. What does this have to do with pop music? BW’s life is proof that great popular art isn’t necessarily about formal innovation (even if he did cut his teeth in the 20s on a French neo-Realist film that cast non-actor Parisians on their day off)—sometimes it’s about the delight of a contraption that works just right.

*NSYNC (w/ Nelly) – “Girlfriend”

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*NSYNC (w/ Nelly) – “Girlfriend”

Well, hot damn! They remembered how to have a good time! I can do without the love = shield ruminations (blah blah maturity blah blah; people can read poetry and NOT turn into pretentious bores, y’know), but keep those harmonies comin’, boys! (Please note that Nelly’s not-so-sly appropriation of “Liquid Dreams” does not validate O-Town in any way, shape, or form.)

My parents are packing up and moving to a caravan!!!!

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My parents are packing up and moving to a caravan!!!! Oops sorry, a park home. This means I have had to clear away some CDS. Whot??? OF COURSE I document this on NYLPM! Dere readers, shock and gasp at the revelations of “she bought THAT????” as we delve through the CDs that I term REJECTED!!!!

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MOS DEF & MASSIVE ATTACK – “I Against I”

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Let’s get the obvious part of this out of the way; I love this record. It has enchanted and ensnared me in its flanged hi-hat charms. If this record was a woman, I would be helpless at its feet, lovingly feeding it grapes off the vine and buying it fur coats, Fendi bags and diamond rings in a vain hope that showering it with bling-bling would prevent it from finding a suitor more worthy of its sultry charms. If I saw this record across a crowded airport terminal pulling out a pack of Virginia Slims, I would push a nun out of the way for a chance to offer it a light. I think it’s stunning piece of work. The odd thing is that I can’t really pinpoint why.

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27
Mar 02

“Producing…”

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“Producing…”

After failing to speak to the man while on special assignment in Davis, Sacramento and San Francisco, Dutch journalist Sander Kerkhof finally caught up with DJ Shadow for an interview over the phone, resulting in a half-hour long self-portrait of a man who’d normally rather let his hands do the talking. Hear Josh Davis, in his own words, about how and why he got started, hiphop in the early ’80s and where exactly he got most of the source material for ‘Endtroducing’. This one’s for the fans. Essential.

Warning: The first link has Dutch commentary. Both are Real Audio-files at 3voor12.

PAUL MCCARTNEY – “From a Lover to a Friend” ELTON JOHN – “This Train Don’t Stop There Any More”

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PAUL MCCARTNEY – “From a Lover to a Friend”
ELTON JOHN – “This Train Don’t Stop There Any More”

“Hey there.”

“Hello. How’ve you been?”

“Ehh. It’s been a tough year. Yourself?”

“Not too good. Not too good at all.”

“Yeah. Can I buy you a drink?”

“Please.”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course.”

Terry Bradshaw?”

“Well, at least I never dressed like Donald Duck.”

“Good point.”

24
Mar 02

Breakin in the South

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When I saw Beat Street and Breakin, age 10, in Knoxville Tennessee, there was a context in the movies of a repressed liberation politics. That context may always float around movies, as an eddy in Hollywood’s vague cloud of humanism, but for a kid going to see a breakdancing movie on a hot Florida afternoon, liberation politics was a perfect fit.

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23
Mar 02

Pitchfork Inna (Very Confused) Dancehall Stylee.

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Pitchfork Inna (Very Confused) Dancehall Stylee. First things first: Mo Wax’s Now Thing comp. (another timely Pitchfork review) is dub only in the most tangential sense: that it features (mostly) instrumental “versions” of ragga dancehall tracks. (Except, unless I’m mistaken, these are all original instrumentals which makes them not dubs at all.) The fact that the word “dancehall” doesn’t appear once throughout the course of the review is telling; in a (semi) recent essay for The Wire, Simon Reynolds discussed the process of avoidance by which hipsters can dodge having to discuss the physicalities (the roots, pardon the pun) of Jamaican music (be it reggae or dancehall) by using the red herring of the dub process. Now Thing has little to do with Lee Perry (a bit more to do with King Tubby, who produced digi-dubs of current dancehall hits until his death); it has everything to do with Prince Jammy’s “Sleng Teng” and it’s followers. In other words, closer to Elephant Man (or Ludacris for that matter) than Saint Bob. It’s not “new” at all, but part of a living, writhing tradition which James Lavelle has so graciously provided the Headz massive with an in. Avoiding the dancehall connection, the reviewer also sidesteps (is unaware of?) Now Thing‘s main weakness: no words. For a genre so bound to the word, to endless strings of almost indescipherable patois, an “instrumental dancehall” record seems a bit, well, easy. No pesky cultural connections to contend with, no gun-bitch-ho talk to cringe from. De-fanged? Maybe. A bit like if everyone started falling all over themselves for an instrumental So So Def or Cash Money LP. Oh…wait. Plus, it’s on Mo Wax.

No Doubt, in their way, are engaging with dancehall more directly than Now Thing.